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Israeli weapons to Iran through Greece

17 February 2014 / 20:02:43  GRReporter
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The secret investigation service of the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations with the cooperation of the Greek service combating drugs and weapons trafficking had detected members of a group that was selling weapons and ammunition from Israel to Iran through Greece. According to the report by the participants in the operation, in December 2012 and April 2013 the services had found and seized in Greece containers with weapons and parts for the F-4 military aircraft in particular. The containers had been sent from Israel, their final destination being Iran. It is known that the country in question has a large number of military aircraft of that type.
 
A company based in the city of Biniamina in Israel had sent the shipment through courier companies, the intermediate recipient of the containers in Greece being a company called "Thassos Karras SA", located on Orfeos street in the Athens district of Votanikos. According to the investigation carried out by the Greek service combating drugs and weapons trafficking, such a company did not exist and the telephone number was listed in the name of a British citizen living in Thessaloniki, whom the authorities had also failed to discover. According to the bulletins of Homeland Security Investigations, the criminal network from Israel had sent weapons to Iran in violation of the international embargo imposed on the country, using Greece as a transit country.

The first shipment had been detected on 20 December 2012. At the request of Homeland Security Investigations, the Greek service had held a shipment from Israel that contained parts for military aircraft, namely a constant speed drive (CSD). According to the U.S. security services, the particular device was manufactured by the U.S. Hamilton Sundstrand company, it was worth 28,000 dollars and used in the F-4 military aircraft.

The second shipment had been detected in April 2013 with the support of the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. Employees of the Greek service had seized a shipment sent from Israel through the courier company Fed Ex. Its sender was the same company headquartered in the city of Biniamina in Israel and its recipient the nonexistent company in Greece. The investigators had found out that the shipment did not contain a valve as specified in the relevant documents but a voltage output sensor, which is part of the F-14 military aircraft. In this case, the U.S. service had informed its Greek counterpart that the part was manufactured by the U.S. company Hamilton Sundstrand and was included in the U.S. list of ammunition because it was used in the F-14 military aircraft.

The intermediate recipient of the ammunition in Greece had not been found and the case had been filed in the category of "unidentified perpetrators". Later, at the request of the U.S., a procedure was initiated to transfer the seized evidence to the competent U.S. authorities in order for it to be used for the arrest of, and in the legal proceedings against, a suspect. The U.S. authorities had been searching for this person since the beginning of 2004 as he was managing the weapons trafficking between Israel and Iran. On 14 November 2013, the judicial council in Athens cancelled the seizure of the ammunition and ordered that it be delivered to the U.S. authorities. The decision was issued on 24 December last year.

Tags: Crime newsWeapons traffickingInternational embargoIranIsraelHomeland Security Investigations
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